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June 28, 2016

Why I am in LOVE with the Islam

The first word of the Quran, the holy book of the Muslim religion is Iqra (or Ikra). Iqra is to read. The prophet Mohammed told his fellow followers of Allah to read more, study more and to learn more. As you read this post that is my message to you. Iqra.

Muslims are terrorists, pedophiles, fundamentalists and the true oppressors of women. This was what I thought for most of my life. As I grew up I learned that this could not be true for all of them but it had to be so for most of them. In my mind they needed my love in order to be converted to Christianity (Seventh-Day Adventism to be exact) the only true religion. So I started on a quest in hopes that if I helped my Muslim friends and acquaintances find Jesus that I would too. I was very wrong.

The more I learned about the Islam the more I wanted to know. I wanted to understand how I, Urisha an intelligent black woman could not know all of this information. I started to understand that the media helped me out. When it wasn't Geert Wilders a Dutch politician on the TV calling for less Moroccans in the Netherlands, it was ISIS. When ISIS had enough it was some closeted Muslim homosexual shooting up a gay club. The news did not cover the fact that Turkey an Islamic country has been a constant target for terrorists. They did not cover the stories about the Muslims around the world not only praying for people in Syria but also donating their money and time. The truth is rarely told.

While child marriage is a serious problem in the world it is not a norm in the Islam rather the Quran states that children should be married when old enough. "More than half of the girls in Bangladesh, Mali, Mozambique and Niger are married before age 18. In these same countries, more than 75 percent of people live on less than $2 a day." (International Center for Research on Women, 2016) In the western world we have more than enough, we are the more "civilized" yet we allow these horrors to continue. We who know better profit from countries with nothing while never thinking about the products of poverty. Child brides (and grooms) are not an Islamic problem. It is our problem and it continues only because we allow poverty to continue.

On the topic of female oppression it is everyone's fault. In 2015 the Seventh-Day Adventist organization broke my heart by voting against the ordination of female pastors. The Catholic church has no priestesses and in the nonreligious world we are still waiting for equal rights and pay. There is more than enough blame to be passed around in every part of the world.

In January a class was formed at school and suddenly I met a lot of Muslims from all walks of life. As I spent more time with the young women of my class I learned more than I ever thought I could. I met a young Moroccan who wears her hijab with pride as well as her nationality. I learned why one girl chose not to wear a hijab yet she is one of the most devout, kind-hearted and gentle spirits I've ever met. In my quest to find truth I uncovered the horror of what it is like to be black and Muslim. Yet a Somalian young woman chooses to brave the storm or racism, gender discrimination and religious persecution on a daily basis. I met a Kurdish woman who decided to not just understand her religion but that of everyone else. Never did I feel as if sharing my religion made me less. Never did I feel closer to people in the Netherlands than I did with them.

A black Muslima in the western world is one of the strongest women you will ever find.
Remember my quest to find Jesus? Well I found him in the respect of my Muslim students. I found him in the gratitude of their parents. I saw him in the hospitality of my friends and classmates. I saw Jesus in their longsuffering spirits. I found my Savior in the words of the prophet Mohammed in the same way I found Him in the four gospels. I found Him because His message is one that Islam teaches above all. LOVE

There is a discussion in the Muslim world about the true meaning of the word Iqra. Some say it means to read but also recite, I am fine with it being both. Read and understand so that you can recite and teach. This is something that we all need to adopt because there can be no more ignorance in the world. The world is to small and the internet far to large, we have no excuse so close this window and learn. Iqra.



June 26, 2016

No More Licks for Statia?

"Spare the rod and spoil the child" is the quote that has been used for many years to sanction corporal punishment as a form of discipline. It is known that in black culture children are spanked and while I believe that spanking is a useful form of discipline I do not think that it is the best or safest way to punish a child. By now someone is saying that a 22 year old with no children cannot possibly understand how to raise children but I disagree so let's begin.

There are four types of parenting styles and it is important for us to recognize them. The neglectful parent is one that basically lets their kids do whatever they want. If you've ever been in a grocery store and seen a mother completely unconcerned by the fact that her sons are jumping from shelves you now have your example.
Another type is the permissive parent. You know that parent who says yes to everything? The one whose child is their best friend? The worst is probably when you hear a dad say just give her the candy so she can stop crying. Permissive parenting is a great way to create a monster especially an academic one. As a teacher you often meet students that have no respect for authority. Students who feel entitled while having no motivation and you wonder why. Then you have your first parent teacher conference and it is like seeing for the very first time. A big flashing sign goes off in your head saying: BLAME THE IDIOT PARENTS. If you are any of the above or know anyone who is please seek professional help. #ImSerious
The more common parenting style in the Caribbean and on Statia is the authoritarian. This picture pretty much sums up the authoritarian parent.

Most Statian kids are very used to physical discipline and for many it is all they know. When I was younger getting 'licks' was a given when I misbehaved. It was simply nonnegotiable and to be honest that is probably why it did not have an effect on my behavior. Though this was not a good or effective method I knew that I was being spanked as a punishment. However, as I got older (around the age of nine) I started being hit because my parents were frustrated. They couldn't get me to shut up and so a lash worked to make them feel as if they were fixing the problem. Yet that reaction to my behavior was the problem. Parents often forget that children are human beings and can reason and understand. On Statia our efforts to silence children by using corporal punishment it abuse. A child's refusal to listen in general is not a good enough reason for them to be spanked.

Recently while having a discussion with a child psychologist he stated that parents who hit their kids should allow others like family members and teachers to do the same. He argued that the reason most parents would not allow it is possibly because they know or feel that physical discipline is wrong. When I gave this more thought I realized that this is completely possible. If you trust someone with your child on a daily basis and you trust them to punish them appropriately in a nonphysical manner why wouldn't you trust them with the physical?

The authoritve parenting style is one that seriously needs to be adopted in our culture. Children are not robots and do not have to do what they are told because the adults say so. Children should understand why they need to obey and that should be out of trust, respect and love. Many times we tell children not to touch the stove without ever sitting them down and telling them exactly why and if we do we think that once is enough. Unfortunately once is not enough for adults so it will never be for children. "I only talk once" usually makes no sense because children like adults forget and need reminders and that should not be physical.

I am sure there is someone saying that it is impossible to have a meaningful conversation with a two year old and I wholeheartedly agree. So by following my logic the less developed the child (cognitively, socially and mentally) the more physical the punishment. As children grow and develop so should the punishments. So do you spare the rod? No of course not you train up a child in the way they should go so that when they are past four you will not have to take out the rod as often.




June 16, 2016


I obviously have not written anything in a little over two weeks and that is because I needed time to concentrate as well as understand where my life is going. I have been making some big decisions and I am ready to share them all with you.

My first decision is to be more instrumental on my island. I have decided that being a critic will not help so I will dedicate at least a week to positivity. I am not sure when this will begin but when it does I hope that everyone is on board with is but if you are not that is fine too. My island is far to dear to me for me to see it's charm slipping away and not try to help it. I thought that being critic would bring forth some type of progress but it is not so a new approach is in order.

I have also decided that my work and school life will be kept private for the most part so if you came here for that you will also be disappointed. I will however share my feelings on almost every subject known to me. My take on the smallest things like Gemeente Rotterdam's city garbage problem as well as the war in Syria. My very personal life will be shared when it can be beneficial, I've already written a piece on the rules of breaking up as well as one on being in love with your ex.

I am definitely excited about the direction everything will go in. Stay tuned for more!



P.S. I will be back on Sunday June 26th!